Page images
PDF
EPUB

Letters from Gloucestershire.

EDITED BY

“ Moi donc quiconnois peu Phébus et ses douceurs
« Qui suis nouveau sevré sur le mont des neuf Sæurs :

“Moi, la plume a la main, je gourmand les vices
« Et gardant pour moi-meme une juste riguenr,
Je confie au papier les secrets de mon cour.”

BOJLEAU, Discours au Roi.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

W.SHACKELL, JOHNSON'S-COURT, FLEET-STREET.

PREFACE.

If it were at all necessary for me, and I rejoice

that it is not, to account for the way in which the

following Letters came into my possession, I think I could as satisfactorily acquit myself of any fraudu

lent or irreverent practices, in obtaining them, as any

of my cotemporaries, not even with the exception of the witty and learned Editor of the FUDGES,—THO

MAS Brown the younger. I have merely availed W myself of an opportunity, which may never again

occur—to me at least—and have accordingly, with all Editorial diligence and accuracy, prepared for

the public eye, some certain Epistles, which, partly

[blocks in formation]

through negligence-partly through accident, and a

little through good fortune, (for one's luck-penny

must not be forgotten,) have fallen under my sur

veillance. It is merely essential for me to state, that

[ocr errors]

as I have betrayed no confidence-neither have I

compromised any gentlemanly feeling, in obtaining the porte-feuille, from which my present Selection

is made and which contains an immense quantity

of manuscripts, no less interesting and important,

“to those whom it may concern.”—Whether the success of my present attempt, at restoring those

documents to their right possessors---(which is my

principal inducement to publish them,) may lead me

to the disclosure of any others, I am not prepared to

say I shall only observe, that when the packet,

which contained the Letters in question, came into

my hands, it was not padlocked ;-when I looked to

the letters, they were not sealed ;-neither were they marked “ Private" norConfidential;"—the blanks

in the names were not even filled up,—and there

was no probability of their ever reaching their desti

nation, but by the course I now adopt, whereby many

an anxious doubt of faith preserved-of friendship

unshaken-of love untired—and of esteem unchanged,

may be at once removed. If a few secrets should

escape,--or, a few little uneasy thoughts spring out

like the plagues from Pandora's box, they will still

leave hope behind-at least, the hope that though a passing smile may be excited at the expense of some fashionable folly, no sting may for a moment, wound an honest bosom, nor PETER QUINCE the younger

have cause to lament the publication of

“One line which dying he should wish to blot."

As for myself, as the Editor of this selection, were

« PreviousContinue »